SONOMA COUNTY (KPIX) — Under fire from the University Of California Board Of Regents and the State Auditor, Janet Napolitano says she will not resign from her post as President.
Napolitano is speaking out publicly for the first time after the State Auditor found she interfered with an investigation into her office.
Cal’s newspaper said what she did was “inexcusable.” UC Regents have reprimanded her. Some lawmakers said she should go.
Two heads have already rolled in the UC President’s office including Seth Grossman, her Chief of Staff, and his deputy.
It all started when the state auditor ordered all ten UC campuses to review the president and her office. The surveys were supposed to be confidential.
But Napolitano ordered the campuses to submit their answers to her office before sending those answers to the state auditor. She admits doing that.
But an investigation also found her staff asked campuses to tone down or delete some criticism. Just how much did she know about the tampering of her staff in the audit?
“You know, I made a mistake and I acknowledge that in approving that we would review campus responses,” says Napolitano. “But I will simply say I was not involved in the activities after that.”
Knowing her office would see their responses, the investigation found that UC San Diego, UC Santa Cruz and UC Irvine all changed their answers, replacing criticisms of her office with more praise.
When the investigation revealed the meddling, both Napolitano’s aides resigned for ‘family concerns’.
That prompted the UC Board of Regents to reprimand Napolitano. As for public trust and calls for her to step down, Napolitano says she is not going anywhere.
“Well, my response is to appreciate the expression by the Board of Regents, to continue leadership, and to stay focused on what we are trying to do,” she said. “We have a tough road ahead of us on the education side… I am staying on it.”
The state audit eventually found that Napolitano’s office paid excessive salaries and benefits to top executives and kept $175 million in a private reserve fund that was never disclosed.
The Board of Regents plans to discuss reforms to avoid this kind of thing in the future when they meet in January.